They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. We are now 11 months into the pandemic, and we have definitely formed many new habits! I don’t know about you, but my family and I have taken on new ways of being — some good, some bad, and some ugly.
Either way, the vaccine is here, and though it will be a while before things go back to normal (will they ever be normal?), I’ve been wondering (and worrying!) about what I’m going to have to re-teach my children and myself.
So, with that in mind:
Dear children, when we enter the post-pandemic world, please try to remember:
When you are walking down the sidewalk and someone comes near you, you can go within six feet of them. Crossing the street to avoid them is no longer necessary — or acceptable.
Sharing is caring — seriously! When you’re at school, the crayon box is not just for you. The toys are not just for you. You guys are all sharing now. And it’s OK if your hands touch.
When the virus is not as everpresent as it is now, Mommy will again discourage Purell. I know I’ve been dousing you with sanitizer now, but I really don’t like it. And I won’t be squirting you every two seconds anymore. I know it’s confusing. Bear with me.
When we meet people, we shake their hands. When we see people we know, we may hug them. I can’t guarantee we will be blowing candles out on birthday cakes anytime soon, but there will be birthday parties. In real life.
We will be eating indoors at restaurants again. We will also have people in our home. Please remember how to behave properly. Bodily noises, screaming, and running around are generally frowned upon.
Dear self, please, please, please remember:
Once you are back at work, you will not have as much time for exercise. That is OK.
You will also not have time to make all the from-scratch foods you have been whipping up. That is OK.
You managed the morning rush, commute, work, pickup, dinner prep, bedtime, pack lunches, sleep, and repeat hamster wheel, and you will manage it again. It will be OK.
Yoga pants and a hoodie are not appropriate office attire. Zippers and buttons are normal and should be welcomed. Same with shoes.
You do not have to make up for a year of not hugging in one day.
Just like it took a while to lean in to the pandemic life, it will take a while to lean out of it and into the next phase. Give yourself patience.